The Raid director Gareth Evans was in charge of Warner Bros.’s planned solo Deathstroke spinoff from Justice League. Ultimately canceled, we never got to see what Evans or star Joe Manganiello would come up with.
Evans lately, as he did with Yahoo, is talking about it and giving fans some idea what his Deathstroke film was going to be like.
Evans stated he wanted to retell the character’s origin but without turning it into the kind of two-hour-plus epic we are used to in today’s boom period of comic book movies.
“The plan was, I wanted to tell something that would be a lean story, that would be kind of an origin of that character. Something that felt like it could be 100 minutes or 110 minutes long, max – not to go over the two hour period with it.”
He added that he would’ve modeled his take after the thrillers – “noir films” – made in South Korea – texture, colors, grit, and all.
“Back then, I was massively influenced by the noir films coming out of South Korea, so that was my pitch. I was like, these films are amazing: the texture, and the tones of colours, the grit and the aggression of them is super interesting to use to tell Deathstroke’s story.”
So think I Saw the Devil, Oldboy, or anything by Vengeance Trilogy director Park Chan-wook, only with Deathstroke – an idea that would have certainly tested Manganiello’s mettle as an actor.
The first, last, and only time we beheld Manganiello as Slade Wilson on the big screen he was being recruited by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) in an end-credits stinger to join the Injustice League or Legion of Doom for a sequel that isn’t happening.
WB and Zack Snyder initially had more for him to do. Allegedly, Manganiello’s bow in Justice League plays out differently in the Snyder Cut, seeing him break out of jail during a riot and leaving Luthor to fend for himself.
We don’t know if we will ever see Manganiello in the armor again, notwithstanding rumblings he could be back for The Flash and its unique version of Flashpoint that director Andy Muschietti pledged to give us.
Slade would’ve turned up again in The Batman, had Ben Affleck still been attached behind the camera and under the cowl, to slug it out with the Dark Knight. Plans changed there too.
The silver lining: Deathstroke is not bereft of appearances or interpretations to go around. He is one of the most in-demand characters at the moment. On TV, Slade’s been played by Manu Bennett (Arrow) and Esai Morales (Titans).
CW Seed produced an animated miniseries, Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons, written by J.M. DeMatteis and starring the voice of Michael Chiklis.